Friday, March 17, 2006

The Apostle of Ireland

... AKA St. Patrick. This is the day each year I trot out my Guinness shirt and green trousers in aknowledgement of the Christianization of the land of my birth. The form of Christianity that developed in Ireland after St. Patrick continues to hold great appeal to me and to many others around the world. Few realize the role of the Irish scholars in medieval monasteries who preserved much of the learning of antiquity during Europe's so-called "Dark Ages". Thomas Cahill spins a breathtaking account of that in How the Irish Saved Civilization. But it all began with a slave boy who was called by God... and the land. And there's no replacing the confessio of the man himself for a reading on this day (accompanied with a good draught of the black stuff). Here's an extract:

I cannot keep silent, nor would it be proper, so many favours and graces has the Lord deigned to bestow on me in the land of my captivity. For after chastisement from God, and recognizing him, our way to repay him is to exalt him and confess his wonders before every nation under heaven.

For there is no other God, nor ever was before, nor shall be hereafter, but God the Father, unbegotten and without beginning, in whom all things began, whose are all things, as we have been taught; and his son Jesus Christ, who manifestly always existed with the Father, before the beginning of time in the spirit with the Father, indescribably begotten before all things, and all things visible and invisible were made by him. He was made man, conquered death and was received into Heaven, to the Father who gave him all power over every name in Heaven and on Earth and in Hell, so that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord and God, in whom we believe. And we look to his imminent coming again, the judge of the living and the dead, who will render to each according to his deeds. And he poured out his Holy Spirit on us in abundance, the gift and pledge of immortality, which makes the believers and the obedient into sons of God and co-heirs of Christ who is revealed, and we worship one God in the Trinity of holy name.

For the rest, go here.

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